Chapter 9. Technology and tests of L2 pragmatics

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Computer-based testing of pragmatics is becoming more common but is still in its early stages. It offers a number of potential advantages in terms of logistics but potentially also with a positive impact on validity and the breadth of claims that a test can inform. This study discusses current uses of technology in the assessment of pragmatics and exemplifies this through Roever’s (2005) web-based test of second language pragmatics. The analysis demonstrates the strengths of computer-based testing with regard to its strong practicality and its ability to provide operational information that helps shore up a validity argument, improve reliability, and optimize the item mix. However, the use of technology in Roever’s or most other tests did not extend construct coverage though it did improve authenticity. Possibilities for future developments are discussed.


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